Russell has been a member of the Franklin Family Y since 2002. But earlier this year he considered giving up his membership to save money. “Over the past few years, I have discovered how much more the YMCA can help people now that I am one of those who is dealing with some difficult times in my life.”
After losing his job in 2017, Russell and his wife Donna went into “survival mode.”
Russell’s stresses were compounded in 2018 with the ailing health of both of his parents who live in Jackson, Tenn., (nearly 130 from Franklin). First it was his mother’s stroke. Then his father was hospitalized for pneumonia – an illness that cascaded into other issues.
Traveling to Jackson to help his parents took a toll on Russell and Donna. “It was a nightmare with my parents in the hospital, sometimes simultaneously on different floors. Quality-of-life questions awaken a person to reality,” he said. His father passed away in March 2019.
Russell shared his struggles with Executive Director Drew Freeman.
“Drew encouraged me to consider the Open Doors financial assistance program so that I could maintain my membership,” he says.
This was a saving grace for Russell.
Russell continues to work out regularly at the Franklin Y, a routine that keeps him healthy in spirit, mind and body. He continues to look for work in finance, and says when his situation improves, he wants to pay it forward.
“Valuing my health and wanting to maintain my conditioning, I have realized how important that the YMCA has become to me more than ever before.”